I Have Moved!
Hello everybody, I pray this finds you well!Thanks for visiting! I want to let you know I changed the name of the blog and moved to a new location! The new name is Piper Green Author Find Me Here!!!
Christmas is over and preparations for the New Year have
begun. I determined this year to enjoy
Christmas, so I have been a bit more contemplative regarding Christmas,
regardless of my desire to move into the New Year. I would be remiss to ignore the
significance of not only enjoying Christmas, but in keeping Christmas all year.
One iconic symbol of Christmas has resonated with me this year—the manger. There is more to this feeding trough than a
makeshift cradle. What is the significance of the manger? Why a manger?
It was a cold, dark night in Bethlehem. Four-hundred years
of brass heavens created a desperation for a Word from God…just one Word.
The silence from God’s Throne was deafening. Butwhen the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son,and gave not only a word, but TheWord
the worldso desperately needed.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I
bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you
is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And
this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling
clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude
of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and
on earth peace, good will toward men (Luke 2: 10-14 KJV).
Easton Bible Dictionarydefines Manger
(Luke 2:7, 12, 16): “The name (Gr. phatne, rendered
“stall” in Luke 13:15) given to the place where the infant Redeemer was
laid. It seems to have been a stall or crib for feeding cattle. Stables and
mangers in our modern sense were in ancient times unknown in the East. The word
here properly denotes “the ledge or projection in the end of the room used as a
stall on which the hay or other food of the animals of travelers was placed.”
The Lord included the manger as a sign so the shepherds
would know when they arrived, that they found the child of which God spoke.
This intrigues me. Why did God give the manger as a sign concerning the holy
Child? Why did the Lord include the
manger in this narrative?
He was laid in a manger to show that he was available to
all; born in a palace only a few could access Him. He came for all mankind. He
had to become a man to redeem man.
“He was laid in a manger to mark His identification with
human suffering and wretchedness. The One born was “The Son of Man.” He had
left the heights of Heaven’s glory and had descended to our level, and here we
behold Him entering the human condition at its lowest point. Thus did the Man
of Sorrows identify Himself with human suffering.” (A.W. Pink,Why Four
I love the book of Isaiah; it is full of prophetic passages
concerning the Messiah. Jesus is the Man of Sorrows in chapter 53; God’s Suffering
Servanthood is what resonates with me when I contemplate the
manger. Jesus came to serve mankind.
Imagine, the Creator of the Universe left the glory of heaven, and came to
earth to serve His creation; His ungrateful, fallen, sinful, rebellious
creation. We have lost all rights to be anything other than humble.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. Mark 10:45
The church needs to return to serving. Not just serving inside
the four walls of the church, but serving mankind. Serving for us creatures does
not always come easily. We are pulled in many directions by people who need us.
We are needed by our spouses, our children, and friends. The thought of serving
more is daunting—whom else do I need to give myself to? We become drained and
weary of always helping others. It is easy to tire of helping everyone else, having
little time for ourselves; righteous indignation is tempting. Serving is not
only helping our own and others, but that we keep the right attitude and do
all things to the glory of God. Serving becomes wearisome when our
attitudes have turned sour; serving becomes a burden. We need a paradigm shift.
We need our hearts to be renewed by Him, and to hold His posture for serving.
He came to serve mankind, and we thanked Him by scourging, beating, and nailing
Him to tree, yet it did not sway Him from His purpose. Make it a priority to
pray every day and ask whom He needs you to serve, and like Christ take on the
nature of a servant; a humble servant.
attitudein yourselves which was also inChrist Jesus,who, although He existed in theform of God,did not regard equality with God a thing to begrasped,butemptied Himself, taking the form of abond-servant,andbeing made in the likeness of men.Being found in appearance as a man,He humbled Himself by becomingobedient to the point of death, evendeathon a cross.For this reason also, Godhighly exalted Him, and bestowed on Himthe name which is above every name
(Philippians 2:5-9 NASB).
Christ came to serve mankind and to be all that we need. He
is all we need. His humble arrival in a stable made Him accessible to all
man-kind; to serve the broken, the discouraged, the discontented:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he
hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the
brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight
to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised (Luke 4:18 KJV).
I love this prose of who Christ is to man-kind. He is the
Great I AM; all we need He already is…
To the artist he is the One altogether lovely (Song of
Sol. 5:16); To the architect he is the chief Cornerstone (1 Pet. 2:6); To the
astronomer he is the Sun of righteousness (Mal. 4:2); To the baker he is the
Bread of life (Jn. 6:35); To the banker he is the hidden treasure (Mt. 13:44); To
the builder he is the sure foundation (Isa. 28:16); To the carpenter he is the
door (Jn. 10:7); To the doctor he is the great Physician (Jer. 8:22); To the
educator he is the new and living way (Heb. 10:20); To the farmer he is the
sower and the Lord of harvest (Lk. 10:2). (Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible).
Let’s purpose to remember the manger all year, not just at
Christmas. The mystery of the manger—that Christ came as a humble servant, and
would suffer to reconcile humanity to the Father. We do not have the sins of
the world on our shoulder as Christ did, but we need to take on the attitude of
Christ and pray for a servant’s heart. The hurting, and broken, and lost are
waiting for us. Many are looking to us for help, and we need to answer their
anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of
God. Rom. 8:19
Remember, Jesus came as a humble servant and will
return soon as the King of Kings; His reward is with Him. Let Him find us
Sunday of Advent we prepared
our hearts for the coming
of Christ, and our hearts were filled with the hope of the promise of His coming to this lost and fallen
Sunday we were challenged to spread the love of Christ in this season; He is the reason for the
season. When we share His love, we are His light to lead the world to Him.
Sunday of Advent we breathed in one of the greatest promises in the Word—joy—His
Joy. The arrival of the
incarnate Lord was a joyful event—the angels could not suppress their joy at
His arrival, how much more should we rejoice?
In this last Sunday in Advent, as we are preparing to give
and to receive gifts, we remember the ultimate gift ever given; all gifts this
season pale in comparison.
God, who first
ordered light to shine in darkness, has flooded our hearts with his light. We
now can enlighten men only because we can give them knowledge of the glory of
God, as we see it in the face of Jesus Christ
(2 Corinthians 4:6 J.B. Phillips).
The glory of
God in the face of Christ; this is the greatest gift. When I remember how
broken and lost I was; how deep in bondage I was to sin, it amazes me that the
Father sent His only Son to set me free. He came to redeem us and to reconcile
us to the Father. He
came to dwell with us. He has given us many wonderful gifts and many
precious promises (see
2 Pet. 1:4), but of all His gifts, none is greater than the gift of His Son
Jesus. In giving us His Son He gave us himself.
I traveled to
Israel many years ago, and I walked through the shepherds fields in Bethlehem.
I tried to imagine a stable, and where it may have stood. I thought of Joseph
and Mary, and the baby Jesus. How he slipped into the world quietly in the
night. Stable animals were his company. Humble shepherds came and worshiped. A sense of wonder came over me as I imagined
the angels appearing to announce the greatest gift that would change the world
forever, and celebrating His arrival.
Rest in the
greatest gift this world has ever been given, Jesus Christ, the reason for this
season. There is not a gift that you or I can give this Christmas season, as
great as giving the gift of Jesus Christ. Give Him to everyone you know, by
sharing the Message that will change their world.
Remember, our Message is not about ourselves;
we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand
runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!”
and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of
Christ, all bright and beautiful (2 Corinthians 4: 5-6 Message).
and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalemforrejoicing
and her peopleforgladness (Is.
Joy. Christmas is a time where joy is abundant. But not
everyone can find it. But
when we reject joy, we reject one of the greatest promises ever breathed
from God. The joy promise is woven throughout the Holy Writ. The parched will
be quenched, the barren will blossom. The lame will walk, the blind will see:
and the desert will be glad, And the Arabah will rejoice and blossom; Like
the crocus it will blossom profusely And rejoice with rejoicing and
shout of joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the majesty of Carmel
and Sharon. They will see the glory of the Lord, The majesty of our
God. Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. Say
to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God
will come with vengeance; The recompense of God will come, But
He will save you.” Then the eyes of the blind will be opened And
the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like
a deer, And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. For waters will
break forth in the wilderness And streams in the Arabah. The scorched land will become a pool
And the thirsty ground springs of water; In the haunt of jackals, its
resting place, Grass becomes reeds and rushes. A highway will
be there, a roadway, And it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The
unclean will not travel on it, But it will be for him who walks that way,
And fools will not wander on it. No lion will be there, Nor
will any vicious beast go up on it; These will not be found there. But the
redeemed will walk there, And the ransomed of the Lord will
return And come with joyful shouting to Zion, With everlasting joy upon their
heads. They will find gladness and joy, And sorrow and sighing
will flee away (Is.35.1-10).
In that very day his thoughts perish. How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, Whose hope is in the Lord his God, Who made heaven and earth, The sea and all that is in them; Who keeps faith forever; Who executes justice for the oppressed; Who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; The Lord raises up those who are bowed down; The Lord loves the righteous; The Lord protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, But He thwarts the way of the wicked. The Lord will reign forever, Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord! (Ps. 146.4-10).
The arrival of the incarnate Lord was a joyful happening—the angels could not suppress their joy at His arrival:
The humble shepherds the first recipients of the Message:
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (Lk. 2:10-11).
If the angels, who did not understand sweet redemption, but longed to comprehend it, (see 1 Pet. 1:12) could not contain their celebration, how much more should we, the redeemed, be full of joy at the advent of our Lord?
May you always be joyful in your union with the Lord. I say it again: rejoice! Show a gentle attitude toward everyone. The Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:4–7 TEV).
This Advent season choose joy. This Sabbath rest in His joy. He came so that our joy will be full. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full (Jn. 15:11). He desires for you to be full of joy.
In this Advent season, prepare and have hope, shed the love of Christ in the earth, and be filled with His joy. Let’s pray each day that the joy we know, the joy that is in our hearts, will be shinning from our countenance as we hope, love, rejoice. Happy are the people whose God is the Lord! (Ps.144:15).
For you will go out with joy, and be led forth with peace (Isaiah 55:12, NASB).
Hanukkah, or the Feast of Dedication is a celebration not included
Feasts of Jehovah, this celebration finds its origin during the intertestamental
period—the time between the Old and New Testaments. It is an epic story of
deliverance of God’s people from yet another attempt by Satan, through his
puppet Epiphanes, to annihilate the Jewish people.
Tonight is the first night of this special celebration and
its symbolization is remarkable. Jesus celebrated the Festival of Lights, and
the importance of this festival is significant. First, I do not celebrate this
holiday as the Jewish people do, but I do recognize the importance.
Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication of the Temple in
Jerusalem by Judah Maccabee in 165 BC after a standoff with Antiochus IV Epiphanes,
who nearly succeeded in wiping out the Jews. The Maccabees won the standoff. (My
own little note: it is no accident that the heroic leader of the Maccabees is
named Judah—the line of the Messiah).
When the Maccabees took back the Temple from Epiphanes, it
had been completely desecrated—so the Jews went to work to clean and rededicate
the temple. They cleaned out the liter left by Epiphanes, and tore down the
altar built to Zeus. The Jews offered incense on the golden
altar, and placed the shewbread
on the table. The
lampstand in the Tabernacle and the Temple, was required by God to be lit
every day. The high priest tended the lamps day and night by trimming the wicks
and filling the cups with oil. However, only one jar of oil was found, and that
would last only one day. But out of faith in God, and a desire to rededicate
the Lord’s house, they miraculously lit the lamp from that one jar of oil for
Not only was this a miracle at God’s hands to rededicate His
temple, it was also a miracle that the Jews defeated Epiphanes. Satan purposed
to wipe out the Jews in hopes of wiping out any hope for the Messiah to come. Satan is no match for the plans and purposes of God.
John 10:22-23 tells us that Jesus celebrated the festival:
At that time the Feast
of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus was
walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.
What does this festival mean for us? It certainly does not
mean you need to light a menorah each night. I celebrate that the plot to wipe out the Jews
hope in the Advent of the Messiah was renewed with the victory over
God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. Jn. 3:16
Today is the second Sunday in Advent. Traditionally, the theme is love; I hold to that tradition.
By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 Jn. 4:9-10
Our fallen human nature cannot love God; our carnal nature
is at war with God (see Rom. 8:7). He loved us regardless. Love is in high
demand, with the hate and evil of the past couple weeks; terrorism and evil
seem to be overtaking the world, but Love overcame, and has victory over death, hell, and the grave—yesterday, today, and forever.
But God demonstrates
His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
God loves us. In the midst of a fallen, sinful, broken
world, the love of God is displayed toward us. In Exodus, God called Moses to
the top of the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments, and to receive the
pattern for the Tabernacle, a pattern that designated Aaron to be the high
priest. At the moment that Aaron led the Israelites into idolatry with a golden
calf, God was preparing the propitiation that would redeem Aaron and the people.
He did that for us as well. He loves us so much that He provided a way to
redeem us—fallen, sinful, and broken people we are. He loves us that much. He
redeemed us and called us His own.
See how great a love
the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and
such we are For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know
Him. 1 Jn. 3:1
It all began in a garden, this Redemption story. In Genesis
3:15 is the protoevangelium—the first
promise of the Savior that would come to redeem His fallen children. The story
is recorded in the Holy Writ; beginning in Genesis and fulfilled in Jesus
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise
you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel. Gen. 3:15
He loved the world so much that He sent His beloved Son, to
redeem you and me. When the Father could have turned away, He instead sent His
Son, to dwell
with us and be our God, He came and
Tabernacled with us. He ordained it from the foundation of the world.
Father, I desire that
they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see
My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the
world. Jn. 17:24
Jesus, in His moving prayer in John’s gospel reveals the
heart of God toward a fallen, broken world, and fallen, broken humanity.
Love is the reason for the first Advent. Love is the reason
for the second. He will dwell with us forever.
Rest this Sabbath in the Love of God. Let your love shine in
this advent season, so that we can spread His love throughout the earth. This
is the reason for the season.
This is the first Sunday in Advent; the genesis of preparing
for the coming King.
But there will be
nomoregloom for her who
was in anguish; in earlier times Hetreated theland of Zebulun
and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall makeitglorious, by the
way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of theGentiles. The
people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who
live in a dark land, The light will shine on them. You
shall multiply the nation, Youshallincreasetheir gladness;
They will be glad in Your presence As with the gladnessof harvest,
Asmen rejoice when
they divide the spoil. ForYou shall break
the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, The rod of
theiroppressor, asat the battle ofMidian. For
every boot of the booted warrior in thebattletumult, And
cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire. For achild will be born
to us, ason
will be given to us; And thegovernment willreston His shoulders;
And His name will be calledWonderful
There will beno
end to the increase ofHisgovernment or of
peace, On thethrone
of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it withjustice and
righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of theLordof hosts will
accomplish this (Is. 9: 1-7).
In the beginning wasthe
Word, and the Word waswith God, andthe
Word was God.He was in the beginning with God.All
things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being
that has come into being.In Him was life, and the life wasthe
Light of men.The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did notcomprehend
it…There wasthe true Lightwhich,
coming into the world, enlightens every man.Andthe Wordbecame flesh, and[k]dwelt among us, andwe saw His glory, glory as ofthe only begotten from the
Father, full ofgrace andtruth (Jn. 1:1-4; 10, 14).
When we truly prepare for the coming of Christ, He fills us
with Hope. The Messiah was the hope
of Israel; and He silently crept into our chronos in the quiet of the night, in
humble surroundings of a stable; The beauty of the incarnation.
We too, have the same Hope
with Christ's Second coming, where He will interrupt our chronos with a glorious Kairos.
Angels pronounced His birth at the first advent and the Lord Himself will
descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the
trumpet of God(see 1 Thess. 4:16).
Rest this Sabbath in the Hope of His coming; the Hope that
He came once and the Hope that He will come again. Prepare for His coming and
Come, thou long
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.